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HRN Original Blog:
From Coast to Coast

Previewing Stars and Stripes Day at Belmont

 
You have to give credit where credit is due. NYRA has put together two excellent days of racing, the first being Belmont Stakes day on June 7. The second day is this upcoming Saturday, the Stars and Stripes Card on July 5. With 5 stakes races on the card, three of them carded for the classic distance of 1 1/4 miles, there will be plenty of top talent on display. The stakes action kicks off with Race 4 and ends with Race 9 with other races peppered in between. Kicking off the graded action is the G3 Dwyer Stakes for 3-year olds. 
 
 
The first stakes race of the day, the Grade 3 Dwyer Stakes looks to be the favorites' for the taking. So if you plan to play this one, you better grab yourself something to drink to wash down the chalk you'll be eating. Morning line favorite Tiz Dark has two sharp races over the Belmont track for trainer Todd Pletcher and owner Starlight Racing. A front-runner, Tiz Dark should only get pressure on the lead from Captain Serious. However, his biggest competition comes from Captain Serious's entry-mate Kid Cruz. The Linda Rice trainee won the Easy Goer Stakes over the main track on Belmont Stakes day and will likely utilize the same devastating stretch run that earned him his previous victories.
 
 
The male sprint division may be lackluster, as pointed out by Averie Levanti in her most recent blog (read it here), but the G3 Belmont Sprint Championship does feature a few nice sprinters. Morning line third choice Palace is my top selection here. Winner of the G2 True North last out, Palace loves the Belmont track, owning a 4: 3-1-0 record over the main track. Declan's Warrior also looks to be a solid pick. His speed figures have been improving over his last three races, and he gets a jockey upgrade in John Velazquez. Dad's Caps owns the tactical advantage as the one most likely to go to and establish the lead. If he stays at or above his 10-1 morning line odds, he is definitely worth a look.
 
 
Race 7, the Grade 1 Belmont Derby Invitational, begins the heavy European invasion. Carded at 1 1/4 miles on the turf, it is the perfect spot for the Euros to ship and assert their superiority. Toast of New York is the obvious choice here, but I am choosing to take a stand against him. As far as the overseas shippers go, I like Adelaide and Gailo Chop better. Never out of the exacta in 4 career starts, Adelaide already has a win at the 10 furlong distance. Additionally, Gailo Chop has two wins at the distance, and if he stays around his 5-1 morning line odds, he could be quite the bargain. For a longshot, I like the 30-1 Sheldon. Despite just breaking his maiden last out, his 7th career start, the chestnut son of Purim has shown that he likes a long route of ground. His two best races have been his last two, both at 1 1/4 mile on the turf. Two starts back he lost by just a head before coming back in his most recent race to win by 2 1/4 lengths.
 
 
Tabbed at 10 furlongs, the G2 Suburban Stakes showcases some of the finest oldest males in the country. Despite not drawing the leaders of the division, Race 8 at Belmont features some older runners with a bone to pick. Among them is Last Gunfighter, a 5-year old son of Last Samurai, who appears to be peaking at the right time. He enters on a two race win streak, a feat he accomplished despite a 6 month layoff between the two races. Norumbega enters off a neck win the 12 furlong G2 Brooklyn Handicap. With the exception of the Ben Ali on the all weather surface at Keeneland, this 4-year old has been competitive all year and looks to benefit from the distance despite the 2 furlong cutback. Like Dad's Caps in the Sprint, Moreno appears to have an advantage as the speed of the race. Last year he lost a nose heartbreaker in the 1 1/4 G1 Travers, proving he can carry his speed over a route of ground. If he gets an easy lead, he's gone!
 
 
Like the two stakes immediately prior to it, the G1 Belmont Oaks Invitational is carded at 10 furlongs. For 3-year old fillies, Race 9 features a rematch between Grade 1 Ashland dead heat winners Rosalind and Room Service. Rosalind, a daughter of Broken Vow, was making up ground late in the Kentucky Oaks and had a real shot in the G1 Coronation at Ascot before stumbling badly at the break and losing her rider. I'm putting a line through that effort and giving her a shot here. Room Service, the second half of that dead heat, followed up that win with a smashing victory in the G1 American Oaks, also at 1 1/4 mile. Also in with a shot are My Conquestadory and Euro invader Xcellence. The former lost a tough decision last out and the latter finished 3rd behind undefeated Avernir Certain in her last two starts.
 
With large fields in four of the five stakes, there will be plenty of betting opportunities for casual fans and horseplayers alike. A $0.50 Pick 4 kicks off with the Derby in Race 7 and carries on to Race 10. The Dwyer and Belmont Sprint Championship are part of a Pick 3 sequence that covers Races 4 through 6.

 

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Older Comments about Previewing Stars and Stripes Day at Belmont ...

An extremely well-conceived and planned great day of racing in NY.
Go Sheldon!!
I am interested in each and every one of these five stake races ... nice card!

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Meet Ashley Tamulonis
  
 

Despite growing up in a non-horse racing state, Ashley has been a fan of the sport since a young age. Her love for horse racing was fostered through the kids’ book series Thoroughbred by Joanna Campbell, and it was her love of reading and horses that led her to educate herself on the ins and outs of the sport. Since becoming actively involved in the industry just a few short years ago, Ashley has had the opportunity to meet many important players in the industry, attend the Eclipse Awards, see personal favorite Mucho Macho Man race twice in person, and get to personally meet and befriend many of the fantastic fans and horsemen involved in the sport.

 

Before joining Horse Racing Nation, Ashley created her own blog Wired with Ashley Paige. The idea to venture into the world of blogging came to her when she realized that she had much to say about horse racing and no one to say it to at the time. Ashley began her time with Horse Racing Nation blogging as The Florida Filly. Using that moniker, she mainly covered racing in South Florida but also blogged about nationwide racing, industry issues, and from time to time offered her opinion on how various changes could be beneficial to the industry as a whole. A move north to New Hampshire began both a new chapter in both Ashley's personal life and professional life. She currently pens the new From Coast to Coast blog for HRN, which is simply a revamped version of The Florida Filly. Don't let the new look and name change fool you, though. Ashley still brings to the table the same great coverage as From Coast to Coast as she did for The Florida Filly. Ashley also participates as a voter in the NTRA Top Thoroughbred Polls.

 

An alumni of Macon State College, Ashley is from Central Georgia but is currently living in New Hampshire with her husband Chris and their two sons Charlie and Michael. A stay-at-home mom, Ashley juggles parenting with blogging and her other passions. Aside from horse racing, Ashley is a fervent football fan, enjoys reading and studying history, and hopes to someday author a historical work covering the Tudor period as well as biographies of horse racing’s stars, equine and human alike.